Green Party of Canada Platform: 3.8 Commercial seal hunt, 3.9 Commercial whale hunting

A continuing review of  the Green Party of Canada’s Platform:

3.8 Commercial seal hunt

The seal hunt is viewed by many people in Canada, and abroad, as an inhumane activity that is ecologically unsound and unsustainable. This is particularly true now that climate change has increased pup mortality in spring due to thin ice and/or a lack of ice.

The annual seal hunt is the largest killing of marine mammals anywhere on the planet. Its enormity threatens Canada’s overseas reputation for little local value.

The Green Party does not support the current industrial, commercial seal hunt in Canada. We are not opposed to subsistence hunting by Aboriginal peoples and local communities. However, we consider seal hunting, like whaling, to be a threat to the marine ecosystem. The loss of ice due to climate change threatens seal populations and exacerbates what many believe is an already unsustainable level of hunting.

Green Party MPs will:

  • End federal assistance to the commercial seal hunt and support an end to the seal hunt.
  • Work with fishermen, fisheries unions and local communities to develop a fair federal buyout of sealing licenses.
  • Work with local communities affected to implement training programs and other resources needed to enhance a sealing industry buyout.
  • Work with other levels of government to find sustainable economic alternatives for sealers and their communities, and provide full compensation to sealers for lost income.

3.9 Commercial whale hunting

Since 1972 Canada has banned commercial whaling in Canadian waters. Originally a member of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), Canada disagreed with efforts in 1980 to declare a moratorium on commercial whaling. Canada argued that, in the absence of a clear and scientifically-justified recommendation for such action from the commission’s scientific committee, conservation requirements could be met under the commission’s management procedure, which provides for selective moratoria. Canada’s position on the moratorium issue earned a great deal of criticism from anti-whaling groups around the world. Canada withdrew its IWC membership in 1982 in protest over this issue. In 1986 the IWC adopted a moratorium on commercial whaling. Although Canada is no longer a member of the IWC, Canada continues to ban commercial whaling in its waters.

The Green Party believes that Canada should take a more active role in opposing whaling internationally

Green Party MPs will:

  • Actively work towards instituting a complete worldwide ban on commercial whaling including the so called ‘research whaling’ currently carried out by Japanese whalers and so-called “traditional whaling” done by Norway.

  • Oppose all hunting of bowhead whales, excluding Canadian Aboriginal subsistence hunting, due to the threatened state of this species.

    Comments and discussion are welcomed.  I am examining this as I go to gain a better grasp of their platform and invite all who are interested to do the same with comments and discussion.



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